PRECIOUS TIME - how do you use it?.........Being present in your practice and in your mind!
TIME, possibly the most valuable commodity of all! What is time? Where does it go? How do we get more? All pertinent questions, of which we know no answers. All we know is how to measure it (thank you Napoleon) and most importantly how quickly it flies by.
Andrew and I watched "The Theory Of Everything" this weekend and wow did it blow me away. The inspiring Stephen Hawkings and his wife Jane Hawkings (played by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones) really made me think about how every second counts and even more than that how anything is possible if you never give up. This man is truly an inspiration to all people of every gender, race and size with or without a disability. At 21 years old he was told he had motor neurone disease, two years to live and now he is 73 years old with everything to live for. A wonderful and poignant movie but definitely have tissues nearby, I sobbed a lot.
I really only first began to respect and appreciate how valuable time is when I had my little monkey. Nap time is sacred, so sacred that I won't do ANYTHING that I could do while she is awake when she is sleeping. I make the most of that time to write my blog, practice yoga and reply to emails etc. And likewise, when I have been teaching all morning and she's been at nursery, we spend the afternoon together. That time is so precious that I try to make it count and do a nice activity with her like taking the doggie for a nice walk, baking or painting. I am amazed how poorly I handled my time before Gracie. This new found productiveness enforced by not having as much free time is a serious accolade to mothers. Trust me when I say you want mothers as employees because as Byrony Gordon (columnist for the Telegraph and vlogger One Fat Mother" said in our mothers meeting at Shoreditch House this week, "now I am a mother I don't have time to gossip by the water fountain.....I get shit done!!" Could not have put it better myself! This is her fab vlog for realistic and awesome parenting tips!
You are probably wondering how time is relevant to yoga, it is in so so many ways. Making the time to practice and I mean full practice. May only be 5 minutes of physical asana but slowing the breath down before and after your more physical sequence is imperative. I often find myself after a yogaglo class only lying in Savasana for 30 seconds to a minute thinking of all the things I need to do. It is such a bad habit and I am really working on making myself clear my mind and calm my breath. Letting the body reap all the benefits of your practice to the maximum. Making time to meditate is crucial to obtain a balanced, happy life. I have noticed how different I am, how much calmer and more agreeable I am when I have got into the routine of meditating before bed. Watching a TED talk on happiness the other week, the guest speaker Shawn Achor actually says,
"We find that meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we've been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once and allows our brains to focus on the task at hand."
Make time my friends, for the things that can benefit you and make you a happier person.
So this week in class, we will be slowing down again. Taking the time to appreciate and respect the breath and the body. Getting deeper into postures and turning off that ticking clock in the mind and allowing yourself to simply be in the present is the best gift you can give to yourself.
Starting slowly with breath and meditation in Sukhasana (easy pose) feeling your way through the body from the inside out. Working up into a gentle few Surya Namaskars, waking up all the senses bringing awareness to your surroundings.
Finding those poses we are so very comfortable with and working deeper into the body turning on muscles you may not have been aware of. Holding Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2) for more time than we usually would, will energise the body in a different way. A nice way to distract the mind from aching arms, is to draw awareness to the legs and imagine the energy soaking up into the body from the ground and when the legs start to ache reverse the mantra and focus on the energy coming into the ams form the air and sky. You find this pose can be held so much longer when you have created that circle of energy flowing through the body.
Spending time on balances, strengthening the ankles and legs as we work on reaching the hands up to the sky and into prayer. Seeing if the eyes can close even for a second to regain that inner reflection and peace in the pose. Tree pose (Vrksasana) will be our focus here as we gently flow through a balancing sequence.
Core is still so important for strength and awareness, Side Plank pose (Vasisthasana) will inspire that energy to fuel the body and mind. Taking whatever variation that is right for your body, feel your inner power coursing through your veins and entering the body in the form of Pranayama. Keep the breath calm and elongated, don;t allow challenging postures to compromise the length of your breath.
I have included Forearm Balance (Pinchamyurasana) in my flow for my level 2/3 classes this week because it is one I have found challenging for a long long time. It is something that demands patience, strength and balance to achieve. I am not expecting all my students to hold forearm balance for a minute but I do think it is important to challenge yourself so that you can measure your progress and also to be aware of how your mood that day can affect your balance and physical performance. Some days I can't even balance on one leg. Other days I can hold handstand. Yoga is about where you are in this present moment and it is accepting of wherever you are today, all yoga cares about is that you showed up for class.
Time well spent!!!
Namaste yogis and yoginis
My first mention this week goes to all the families, victims and charity workers in Nepal. It is beyond devastating and tragic what these poor people have been through. There are no words to express how the families of the victims must be feeling or how they are coping. A small donation of £5 to 70000 quoting "WATER" can help to provide fresh water for the people of Nepal. Once less cocktail for us can make a real difference to them.
@stellaandthestars Emilie Jacob my gorgey, uber chic bezzie is all about taking the time to make sure whatever she does is fabulous and her new blog and affordable interior concept is nothing less. Not only has she been featured in At Home magazine after being live for under a week but her blog and instagram is racking up hundreds of followers a day! CHECK IT OUT!!!
@kizzlet Kiren Awan I have known a long long time......all my life infact as she is my lovely cousin!!! She currently distributes a product called Juice Plus. Being completely honest and she knows this, I have never really been a fan of taking supplements. As you may know Im into everything in moderation and eat your fruit and veg but I wanted to try this for a short time as she heavily recommended them. I have to say to my surprise and shock, I have found my nails have started growing again and my skin has never been so good! I am really enjoying taking them and they have been said to have incredible health benefits.